Google Places has been replaced by Google+ Local, the company announced recently. The move leverages Google’s acquisition of Zagat to bring searchers content and other information related to businesses in their area.
Upon clicking on the Google+ Local tab in the left sidebar, users will see a series of business sorted by their industry. Each entry contains a brief description of the location, written by Zagat, which includes ratings based on Zagat’s 30-point system. User-generated reviews will also be available with a single click.
Currently, Google Places is still accessible, but it is expected to be phased out over time as Google attempts to drive more traffic to Google+. The platform has struggled to garner much traffic in its more than 11 months of existence. Adding further social media marketing capability to the site and providing users with more impetus to use it could help the company improve traffic.
Users can contribute content of their own to a business’ entry, and share their post on their own profile. Moreover, when someone within a Circle shares a review about a company, their followers will see their profile linked under the entry.
Brafton recently reported that the actual popularity of Google+ is difficult to peg. while the platform’s user base continues to grow, each piece of content shared on the site sees an average of less than 1 reply or other action, such as a +1.